Yale global health leaders awarded grant to study chronic disease in Uganda

Drs. Asghar Rastegar, Trishul Siddharthan, and Tracy Rabin in the Office of Global Health at Yale School of Medicine — along with former Yale Internal Medicine graduate and affiliate Dr. Felix Knauf at the University of Erlangen in Germany, and Dr. Robert Kalyesubula, director of the NGO ACCESS-Uganda — have been awarded a grant to study chronic diseases in sub Saharan Africa.

Dr. Asghar Rastegar, left, and Dr. Felix Knauf

The grant, funded by the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung in Germany, will support research and the development of a Center of Excellence for non-communicable disease (NCD) research, education, and care in rural Uganda.

As the global burden of disease shifts from communicable to non-communicable, chronic disease management has become a healthcare priority in low-income countries. Health systems in such countries are poorly equipped to manage the growing burden of chronic disease such as diabetes, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease. They are also plagued with a lack of research and few trained providers in the field.

The grant will support a Center of Excellence for non-communicable diseases in rural Uganda that will emphasize human resource empowerment, patient-centered clinical care, health outcomes research, and interprofessional medical education. The Center will improve existing infrastructure to serve as a model for non-communicable disease management in low-income countries. The Center will also partner with the Uganda Initiative for Integrated Management of Non-Communicable Diseases, a multi-sectoral collaboration that is co-directed by Yale School of Medicine faculty member, Dr. Jeremy Schwartz, to focus on building capacity in the realms of prevention, care, training, and research to enable the provision of effective and integrated care along the NCD management spectrum. Finally, this grant supports collaboration and student exchange between Yale University, University of Erlangen, and an NGO in a resource-poor region.

The mission of the Yale Department of Internal Medicine’s Office of Global Health is to confront disparities in global health through research, education, and health services in partnership with institutions serving resource-limited communities around the world.